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Comoros History Timeline

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Comoros's Information

Flag of Comoros
Land Area 2,235 km2
Water Area 0 km2
Total Area 2,235 km2
Population 794,678
Population Density 355.56 / km2
Government Type Federal Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $1.26 Billion
GDP Per Capita $1,500
Currency Franc (KMF)
Largest Cities
  • Moroni (42,872)
  • Moutsamoudou (23,594)

900 - 1700

  • (933) Omani sailors called the Comoros Islands "The Perfume Islands" due to the scent of the ylang-ylang
  • (1154) Arab geographer depicted Comoros on map, said its sailors sold metal tools for gold and ivory
  • (1400s) Shirazi Arab clans arrived from the Swahili Coast of East Africa, built mosques; introduced architecture, carpentry
  • (1500s) Sultanates of Ndzuwani (Anjouan) and Maore (Mayotte) were founded
  • (1505) Portuguese explorers visited the archipelago
  • (1506) Portuguese began to challenge Bantu Muslim chiefs
  • (1514) Afonso de Albuquerque of Portugal and his forces sacked the islands
  • (1527) Diego Ribero, a Portuguese cartographer, showed Comoros Islands on European map
  • (1600s) Slave trading was most important export commodity
  • (1648) Malagasy pirates raided the islands
  • (1785) The Sakalava of the west coast of Madagascar began slaving raids on Comoros
  • (1830) Sultanate of Mwali (Moheli) separated from Sultanate of Ndzuwani (Anjouan)
  • (1833) Maore (Mayotte) annexed by Moheli
  • (1835) Maore (Mayotte) was annexed from Moheli by Anjouan
  • (1836) Maore (Mayotte) proclaimed independence from Anjouan
  • (1841) France established a protectorate over Maore, named it Mayotte as a dependency of Ile Bourbon
  • (1866) Anjouan was annexed to Mayotte
  • (1886) Sultanate of Bambao, Said Ali bin Said Omar, united the sultanates of Grand Comore into the state of Ngazidja
  • (1886) Ngazidja (Grand Comoros) became French protectorate
  • (1892) Sultanates in Grand Comore were suppressed by France
  • (1893) Said Ali bin Said Omar sent into exile on Reunion Island
  • (1912) Comoros were proclaimed as French colonies, became a dependency of Madagascar
  • (1942) British forces invaded Comoros, began occupation
  • (1946) British occupation ended
  • (1946) Comoros became overseas territory of France
  • (1961) Comoros gained autonomy from France, became State of Comoros
  • (1974) Three of the Comoros Islands voted for independence; the fourth island, Mayotte, voted to stay with France
  • (1975) Comoros declared independence, Ahmed Abdallah became president
  • (1975) President Abdallah deposed in armed coup, replaced by Prince Said Mohammed Jaffar
  • (1976) Prince Said Mohammed Jaffar replaced by Minister of Defense Ali Soilih, tried to turn country into secular, socialist republic
  • (1976) Mayotte became a territorial collectivity of France
  • (1977) After loss of French financial subsidies, over 3,500 civil servants were dismissed
  • (1978) Ali Soilih toppled and killed by mercenaries led by French Colonel Bob Denard
  • (1978) Ahmed Abdallah restored to power
  • (1978) New constitution approved, each island granted own legislature and control over taxes on individuals and island businesses, Islam restored as state religion, Abdallah granted six-year term as president
  • (1978) State of Comoros became Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros
  • (1979) Soilih regime members were arrested, four ministers disappeared, about 300 imprisoned without trial
  • (1979) Opposition group United National Front of Comorans formed
  • (1980) Opposition group National Committee for Public Safety formed
  • (1981) Coup attempt led by former official of Soilih regime failed, 40 arrested
  • (1982) Comoros became one-party state; President Abdallah's Comoran Union for Progress was sole political party
  • (1984) President Abdallah elected to a second six-year term after winning more than 99 percent of the vote as the sole candidate
  • (1985) Constitutional amendment pushed by President Abdallah abolished role of prime minister, made president head of state and head of elected government
  • (1989) President Abdallah was assassinated by presidential guard under command of French mercenary, Colonel Bob Denard
  • (1989) Dominique Malacrino and Bob Denard were put on trial for the killing of President Abdallah; Denard was acquitted
  • (1990) Said Mohamed Djohar elected president
  • (1991) Attempts to impeach President Djohar failed
  • (1992) Coup attempt against President Djohar failed
  • (1995) President Djohar was removed from office in coup led by Bob Denard and a group of mercenaries
  • (1995) France denounced coup, ordered forces to retake the island; Denard surrendered
  • (1996) Mohamed Taki Abdoulkarim elected president
  • (1996) President Abdoulkarim drafted constitution extending authority of the president, established Islam as basis of law
  • (1997) Anjouan and Moheli Islands declared independence from the Comoros
  • (1997) Government troops sent to Anjouan, over 300 were killed or captured by the people who demanded to return to French rule
  • (1997) Referendum held in Anjouan Island, voters approved to reunite with France; France refused request
  • (1997) Leaders on Anjouan Island announced independent government
  • (1998) President Abdoulkarim died, replaced by Interim President Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde
  • (1999) President Massounde overthrown in bloodless coup led by Colonel Azali Assoumani, Army Chief of Staff
  • (1999) African Union imposed sanctions on Anjouan to help broker negotiations and reconciliation
  • (1999) Anjouan had internal conflicts; first president Foundi Abdallah Ibrahim resigned, power was transferred to national coordinator, Said Abeid
  • (1999) Official name of country was changed to Union of Comoros, new political autonomy system instituted for each island, union government for all three islands was established


  • (2001) Azali Assoumani announced country would return to civilian rule in 2002 after new institutions of government had been set up
  • (2001) Military committee led by Major Combo Ayouba seized power in Anjouan
  • (2001) Takeover of Anjouan by Major Combo Ayouba crushed by Major Mohamad Bacar
  • (2001) Coup attempt against Major Ayouba led by Colonel Said Abeid, failed
  • (2001) Voters approved new constitution keeping three islands as one country, but with greater autonomy
  • (2002) Presidential elections were held, Colonel Mohamed Bacar elected leader of Anjouan and Mohamed Said Fazul elected leader of Moheli, Azali Assoumani named president of reunited Comoros
  • (2002) Mze Abdou Soule Elbak elected island president of Grande Comore
  • (2003) Security forces stopped coup attempt against President Assoumani
  • (2004) Local elections for assemblies were held on the three islands
  • (2004) National Assembly opened, President Assoumani named members of first federal government
  • (2005) Mount Karthala Volcano erupted, caused evacuation of over 40,000 residents
  • (2006) Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi of Anjouan, a Muslim cleric, won federal presidential election
  • (2007) Troops from African Union were sent to help keep peace following elections after Anjouan President Mohamed Bacar refused to step down
  • (2007) Mohamad Bacar inaugurated as Anjouan's president after elections were held in defiance of federal government and African Union
  • (2007) Travel sanctions on Mohamed Bacar and other government officials were imposed by African Union
  • (2007) African Union froze Anjouan's foreign assets, called for new elections
  • (2007) African Union began naval blockage of Anjouan Island
  • (2008) Comoran and African Union troops recaptured Anjouan Island
  • (2008) France took Mohamed Bacar into custody
  • (2008) Mohamed Bacar escaped to Mayotte, requested political asylum
  • (2008) Bacar was moved to Reunion Island where he was charged and investigated for illegally entering French territory while carrying weapons
  • (2008) Bacar's asylum request was rejected
  • (2009) Island of Mayotte voted to integrate with France, Comoros government termed referendum null and void
  • (2009) Referendum vote approved extension of president's term of office, extension was opposed by opposition party, and many residents of Moheli
  • (2009) Plane crashed off Comoros coast, killed all but one of 153 on board
  • (2009) In parliamentary elections, President Sambi's party won landslide victory
  • (2010) Libyan soldiers began duty in presidential guard, supposedly as trainers
  • (2010) Ikililou Dhoinine won presidential election
  • (2011) Ikililou Dhoinine assumed office as president
  • (2012) Seven people died, six missing after ship carrying illegal immigrants capsized in Indian Ocean near Mayotte

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